Hand Planer vs Table Planer – Let’s Clear the Confusion!

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Hand planer and table planer are mostly the same usage product. They are both used for slicing, flitting, and smoothing wood’s ruff surface. But on the working basis or working capability, there are multiple differences you may not notice.

It might be confusing to choose because both have their own advantages and disadvantages. I have been using these tools for many years, and that’s why I know that it really needs to understand the differences in which condition or when using one of them can be more useful for your project.

Here I will provide you with a point-to-point comparison of hand planer vs table planer and let you know which one is better for your job.

The Comparison Table Of Hand planer vs Table planer

FeaturesHand planerTable planer
Start and stopEasyDifficult
MaintenanceLittle bitCostly

Hand Planer

A hand planer runs with no external source of power and is manually controlled. It needs to apply pressure or force from the outside like muscle power to slice as your desired look and shape.

  • Can be portable anywhere as need
  • Manually powered and needs pressure
  • There is no fear of temperature.
  • Low is the price.
  • Easy to start and comfortable to use.
  • It offers a lot of safety.
  • It comes with a lot of variations.
  • One should always be careful with the blades.
  • It has a good weight.
  • Takes a lot of time to sharpen.

Table Planer

A table planer is a woodworking power tool designed to produce boards of constant thickness and perfectly flat surfaces.

  • Cuts large woods and does work faster
  • Easy to resurface wood
  • Collect dust easily after every swipe
  • Can set a marker to cut as your need
  • Had great speed and power
  • Harder to manage the under-motivation.
  • Fear of lack of control.
  • Needs excellent leadership and management skills to succeed.

Comparison in different circumstances

Though the hand planer sounds mainly manual, they have electric versions too. For your better comparison and understanding, I included some details of the electric hand planer in this comparison so that I get clear to you about hand plane and electric hand planer vs table planer.


Blade adjustable:

you can adjust blades on both two, and adjustable is very easy on both two to get a particular amount of peeling and better results while slicing.


A hand planer and a table planer both are safe planers at some points because these planers blades are underneath the wooden body or underneath a solid body. If you do follow the safety precautions and do not touch the blades without any reason, nothing will go wrong.



Most hand planers work and look the same way. They come in small sizes to be easily usable. The different designs and sizes are better suited for different tasks.

There are many kinds of table planers out there with their individual work purpose, and they come in large sizes to do large projects.


Hand planers’ speed is limited because they use muscle power, and electric one’s have small motors that generate greater speed.

Other hands, the table planers are way more powerful and provide more speed than these two. Also, it cuts fast and large pieces of wood easily.

Change of blades:

Hand planers blades are easy to change but use safety first. For the electric ones, just tip the planer and use a wrench and loosen the bolts; thus, the blades come out, and you can change it.

Changing table planers blades are a little bit different as its blade size and other screws, and you have to be more conscious while changing; it can easily slice your fingers.

Power consumption:

A hand planer muscles power that uses your calories. But the electric hand planers use electricity but don’t consume much power.

Another hand, a table planer consumes much more power than an electric hand planer as it is large and has motorized rollers and large blades.


The hand planer uses one or multiple blades to slice off the wood from the surface using manual pressure. Table planer also does the same but uses machine power without manual pressure.

But the difference is the hand planer slices a small surface, but a table planer slices both small to the large surface as per the machine size.

Surface imperfections:

If your wood has surface imperfections like dings, holes, scratches, and you want to get rid of them. In this case, the hand planer is the right tool for the job.

If your surface needs to be cut, sliced, trimmed, fill the holes, etc. Then the table planer is the best pick.

Wood measurement:

A hand planer is ideal if your project revolves around smaller wood with extensive details and gives more control and precision cut for a great finish.

On the other hand, the table planer slices inches of wood according to the measurements you provide on the machine, and it will do the rest without applying any pressure. It is also good for edges.

Cutting stability:

In the hand planer, you have to keep measuring slicing size all the time, but it won’t be much stable.

Another hand, in the table planer, you just have to roll the wood on the planer; the roller will take the wood and slice the wood as you put a measurement on the machine.


Both create dust while chopping or slicing. But in the table planer, you get the advantage of collecting dust after every cut or swipe. Where in hand planer you don’t get this option.

Faster operation:

If you want to experience faster work, then a hand planer is not the best choice because it is manually powered.

For the fastest and the finest woodworking table planer is very helpful. Because a machine runs it, just make a guide and put the wood on the line; and it will do the rest of the work.


A hand planer is mainly long-lasting and has no other maintenance cost. You just need to change the blades, and oiling it may give it a good and fast slicing.

A table planer is a machine it may cause technical problems while using. It can be costly, and the durability is based on how you maintain it.

Note: Electric hand planers do have sort of problems like the table planer.


A hand planer is very easy to carry and use anywhere any time of its small size and weight. You can carry or keep it in your toolbox.

A table planer is not that much easy to carry frequently. Because of its weight, height, and parts, it is quite hard to carry. And if you carry or set up it outside for project work, you need electricity to run it.


Hand planer comes on a low budget. You can find a hand planer starting from 20$- 50$ on amazon. The electric hand planer will cost you a little more.

A table planer is the best if you want to start it professionally. It will be a lot more costly than a hand planer. Around 280$ is the starting range of a table planer.

Which one should you use fast?

In my thoughts, you need to experience a manual tool to succeed in handling fine woodworking because it will help you do curves effectively and help to get intricate details.

For the best quality of finish in woodworking, you must be qualified or have some knowledge to use a table planer to get a good result out of it. After getting knowledge or experience, there is no alternative to a table planer for large projects and fast work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can you use a hand planer for wide boards?

Yes, you can use a hand planer for wide boards. Actually, a hand planer is quite good for wide boards. For that, you have to slide the planer a little sideways and apply pressure and adjust the blades for slicing the wood.

Just make sure the board is secured or well attached to the table; otherwise, if it wobbles, then the slicing won’t be perfect and won’t get the result you want.

Q. What can you do with an electric hand planer?

With an electric hand planner, you can plan, level, and smooth wood or rough wood surfaces that do not fit into standard thickness machines.

You don’t need to provide much physical pressure in an electric hand planer. You just have to angle your hand to slice as you need. Also, It works more quickly, more effectively, and more accurately.

Q. Can you use a table saw as a planner?

Yes, you can use a table saw as a planner. First, you need to attach the wood with the table tightly because if it moves, the wood won’t slice according to your measurements.

Thus mark the sides you want to slice or resize, and with the help of the blades, you can slice the wood surface and give almost the same result as a planner.

Q. Is an electric planer better than a hand planer?

As I thought, a hand planer is better than an electric planer. But on its point, the electric planer has its advantages. A hand planer is best for carving and cutting.

Other hand, the electric one is good for cutting and has to be by a socket and also the larger planes are not easy to carry.

For detail work, the hand planer is incomparable, but on a working basis, the electronic planes do work faster than the hand planer. Also, Hand planer has a good reputation for good craftsmanship throughout the centuries.


Hand planer and table planer both are very good woodworking. But as my user experience, a hand planer is much more useful, cheaper, and safer than a table planer.

But there is no doubt that both of the tools have their own uses and you should also see like that. So, considering the environment and situation, choose between them wisely as your project and budget. I hope that the comparison gets clear to you. Thank you.

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